Friday, July 16, 2010
What I Did on My Summer Vacation
Written by Mary Pat Provost
Roller derby is like those cautionary horror stories they told us about drugs when we were kids. How we should never try them- even once!- because you could get hooked the VERY FIRST TIME! (Actually, like the horror stories they told us about sex, too- don’t do it- even once!- because you could get pregnant the VERY FIRST TIME!)
In any case, I started practice a couple of months ago and it happened… I became a roller derby junkie. (Yes, the VERY FIRST TIME!) All of a sudden, everything was derby. Practice three nights a week. Meeting other new girls at the rink on our nights off. Signing up for league-related events. Obsessively checking my Gmail account (exclusively for derby correspondance!). Carrying around a notepad 24-7 to make sure I could record potential derby-name ideas whenever they might come to mind. Shopping for tights and knee socks and underwear (to be worn as outerwear). And, of course, nightly bruise inventory. You know how annoying it is when one of your friends is in a new relationship and every subject- somehow- elicits a reference to the bright shiny new Significant Other? Yeah. I’m that girl. Except it’s my skates I’m snuggling with. (Not really. Okay, just that one time.)
Every moment of my derby life so far seems thrilling and exclamation-point worthy. I went out for a beer after practice! Bought my first pair of fishnets! Went to my first bout and sold raffle tickets! In my skates! And fell down in front of everyone! Got to scrimmage! Got to jam! Left my gear in the car on a hot day! With the windows up! Almost passed out when I got back in! And then… break. The season ended and practice was done for a whole month. Yes, there was still plenty of Google group chatter, and the new girls still got together to skate. There were even invites to practice with the guys’ team and attend speed skating classes. Unfortunately, I was forced to go away on vacation for three whole weeks. And my skates wouldn’t fit in my carry-on.
In Seattle, my BFF and her hubby became a fresh audience for my new passion (haha, “captive”) . They were endlessly indulgent and supportive. He quickly jumped on the derby-name bandwagon, coming up with some worthy submissions to The List. She bragged to her friends about me, watched Whip It, and promised to come visit as soon as I get rostered to bout. (She did, however, express some reservations about my new fashion sensibilities while we were shopping: “What is this new obsession with everything being so SHORT??”) In Utah, I hiked miles and miles through some of the most incredible desert landscapes imaginable, all the while telling myself that at least I was getting a little bit of a workout to make up for the lack of skating. And checking my Gmail whenever I hit a spot with cell service. In the airport during my layover on the way home, I bought a new pair of knee socks.
What did I do on my summer vacation? Jonesed for derby. Of course.